ST. LOUIS – A Mexico, Missouri, man appeared in federal court Wednesday to learn his fate for raping a runaway teenager during a trip to Las Vegas.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Jacob Burney, 24, was in a relationship with a 13-year-old girl in 2021.

Prior to Dec. 8, 2021, the victim ran away from home to be with Burney. The teen was reported missing, and federal investigators received a tip on Dec. 14, 2021, about her disappearance.

Between those dates, Burney switched vehicles and left Missouri, preventing law enforcement officers from finding the teen. Burney and the victim first traveled to Illinois and then Las Vegas.

During the trip, Burney provided drugs and alcohol to the teen. He then committed repeated statutory rape, per his plea agreement.

Burney pleaded guilty in January 2023 to one count of transportation of a minor to engage in a criminal sex act.

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Burney to 10 years in federal prison.